Theseus is the legendary Greek hero famous, amongst other feats, for defeating the Minotaur at the center of the Cretan Labyrinth and finding his way out again, thanks to a ball of string. This theme hopes to do the same, leading your readers through a maze of content, taking them carefully through what they need to see without getting lost.
The WordPress theme, Theseus, does this in two ways; by prominently featuring the latest post in a “feature” category of your choice (conveniently set on the theme options page) and moving all non-essential stuff (you know, widgets) to the page footer.
Features of Theseus
Optimized for Search Engines
The spread of good ideas in the world is important to me. I want my WordPress themes to help in that cause. To that end, I’ve gone ahead and made sure that Theseus is optimized for search engine findability to the best of my meager ability. Of course, if you just want to blog about why Fords are way tougher than GMs, well, that’s cool too. Theseus will still help your ideas get found.
Optimized for Human Beings
There’s a bit of a push and pull between bloggers and blog readers isn’t there? When I visit a blog I want to read valuable content that will help me, or at least make me forget I should be working on a time sensitive project. As a blogger I just want to post a picture of a LOLcat now and then. What should be done?
Enter Feature Posts. Your latest post from your bestest most value-rich category is now highlighted on the top of your home page. Now when new readers visit your blog you can make a good impression, your best work is right up there at the top, and still keep posting links to icanhascheezburger whenever you feel like it, without scaring off readers.
Actually, I like this “feature” feature so much I may end up using it myself.
Setting the feature post is easy. Just click on the Current Theme Options link under the Presentation tab in the WordPress admin area and enter your “Feature” category ID. No worries about editing PHP files! A listing of all your categories (with their ID numbers) can be found by clicking on Categories under the Manage tab in the WordPress admin area.
To top it off, I’ve incorporated my idea about using WordPress conditional tags to increase RSS subscription, targeting readers clicking through to your older posts. Take a look at page 2 of the main index to see what I mean.
Even More Features
- Special classes for “important” and CAPS
- Post-author comment highlighting
- 3 columns of widgets in the footer
- One content-column=one focus point=no distractions
- Valid XHTML and Valid CSS (except for one teeny little hack for IE6)
The eagle-eyed among you will notice something different about the finished Theseus theme: no rounded corners! No, I’m not afraid Elliot Jay Stocks will destroy my theme (but if he even deigned to kick it with a soggy boot I’d be honored). It’s merely a matter of my own incompetence at implementing not one, not two, but every single corner rounding script on the internet. That’s right, I broke them all (I had some help from IE though). Is there some kind of award for that?
On top of that, I couldn’t figure out how to make
get_the_category() output just the link for the featured category (I’m using a variable called
$ts_feature_post). Otherwise, the featured post would have a heading of “Feature Entry in Category Name” with a link to the feature category. If I ever figure it out expect an update.
Anyway, this theme makes use of two very clever open-source projects:
Theseus itself is free and licensed under the GPL. I like it that way. Plus, the images folder contains all the .PSD files for the theme, just in case you want to make any changes.
Entering the Maze with Theseus
I hope you enjoy using Theseus. Technically, it’s my first official, full-fledged, complete package theme for release. I had a lot of fun working on it—except when the rounded corners weren’t working. I hope you have fun working with it. Next up, I actually design a WordPress theme with multi-column content. I know, it’s crazy.